The Memory of All Traces
December 2015 – January 2016

Memory – the pattern of sedimented enfoldings of iterative intra-activity – is written into the fabric of the world. The world ‘holds’ the memory of all traces; or rather, the world is its memory (enfolded materialisation).

– Karen Barad

two photos of SOMA side by side, one from recent Google Streetview and the other from the 1980s showing a crowded outdoor concert with a guy crowdsurfing. In each photo, the same historic building has been circled in the background set up in a gallery space, a desk with books and notebooks, two large corkboards covered with printouts, and three small video monitors in the background

As an artist in residence in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' Work in Progress exhibition, I conducted two months of research on the South of Market neighborhood. My goal was not only to illuminate the neighborhood's changes, but also to connect recent history with what is properly understood as historical (with a capital H). In order to do this, I made use of:

While in residence in the gallery, I maintained a public reading area with texts ranging from Jack Kerouac's "October in the Railroad Earth" to Chester Hartman's Yerba Buena: Land Grab and Community Resistance. Three monitors in the gallery space played: 1) Kent Long's Tribal Scream, showing scenes from a Dead Kennedys show at Rock Against Reagan next to the Moscone Center (where YBCA is now) 1984; 2) Survival Research Labs' performance at the groundbreaking for SFMOMA, which was about to move to SOMA from Civic Center; 3) the 1999 marketing video for the then-self-consciously futuristic Sony Metreon.

I also left out notebooks for visitors to leave thoughts and memories related to certain sites. The information I gathered from research, these notebooks, and conversations with visitors was ultimately woven into a mobile walking tour, which I led in person in January, but which is designed to be a self-guided tour. To access the walking tour, visit this link on your phone.

one image of me passing out tour handouts to a crowd inside a museum, and another of me speaking to the crowd outside
walking tour: photo by YBCA staff / photo by Parker Higgins
a panoramic photo of a crowd standing near a construction site in the SOMA neighborhood, with me in the background pointing and talking
walking tour: photo by Trav Fryer
animation showing the walking tour being scrholled through on an iPhone, with Yerba Buena Gardens in the background